"Full scrutiny" to be given to proposal to extend Gardaí emergency powers in June 1 month ago

"Full scrutiny" to be given to proposal to extend Gardaí emergency powers in June

The current emergency powers are due to run out on 9 June.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that there will be "full scrutiny" and a "full Dáil debate" ahead of any Government proposal to extend emergency powers to Gardaí over the coming weeks.

Advertisement

New powers were introduced last year in support of the public health restrictions on movement and gatherings.

The powers were introduced under section 31A of the Health Act of 1947, as inserted by the Health Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act of 2020.

The purpose of these powers was said to be the protection of public health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The emergency powers given to An Garda Síochána are set to run out on 9 June, however, it is likely that the Government will meet before that date to extend them.

Bríd Smith, People Before Profit TD, asked the Taoiseach in the Dáil on Wednesday about plans to extend the proposal in 2021.

"The emergency powers handed to Gardaí last year are finally due to expire on 9 June, I'm assuming that the Government wants to extend these powers even further," Smith said.

"If that is so, will you at the very least insist that we have full scrutiny of such an advancement, and will you also create an all-party committee and have full Dáil debates here before emergency powers are extended?"

Advertisement

Martin didn't confirm if the powers would be restored, although, he did commit to a full debate and "full scrutiny" for any legislative proposal the Government introduce or extend in respect of Covid-19.

"Full scrutiny and there will be a full Dáil debate in terms of any legislative proposal the Government has in respect of the Health Act, and that act was necessary in respect of Covid-19."